Incorporation of water-soluble natural colorants into oil-based cosmetics

Hello there,
I want to use water-soluble plant sources as the colorant in a lipstick formulation. I used the powder beetroot powder in the formulation but didn't work. It came out rather like a lip balm.
Any suggestion, tip or trick would be much appreciated.
Thank you.

Comments

  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    It is illegal to use beetroot powder as a colorant in your cosmetic formulas. If the ingredients are not listed here (FDA approved colorants) it is illegal to do what you are requesting and not recommended.
  • Perry said:
    It is illegal to use beetroot powder as a colorant in your cosmetic formulas. If the ingredients are not listed here (FDA approved colorants) it is illegal to do what you are requesting and not recommended.
    Thank you Perry.
    May I ask why? The colorant agent is anthocyanin which is edible and apparently is a good antioxidant.
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    @mehrzadkia - very good question. The unsatisfying answer is because that's what the regulations are. 

    The FDA even specifically says "Approval of a color additive for one intended use does not mean approval for other uses."  Therefore, even if a colorant is approved for food, that does not mean it is approved for cosmetics.

    The cosmetic industry in the US is not highly regulated except in a couple areas. Colorants is one of those areas. Formulators (who follow the law) are limited to the colors listed in the FDA approved colorants. The safety or origin the ingredient does not matter. If it's not on the list, it's illegal to use as a colorant. 

  • Perry said:
    @mehrzadkia - very good question. The unsatisfying answer is because that's what the regulations are. 

    The FDA even specifically says "Approval of a color additive for one intended use does not mean approval for other uses."  Therefore, even if a colorant is approved for food, that does not mean it is approved for cosmetics.

    The cosmetic industry in the US is not highly regulated except in a couple areas. Colorants is one of those areas. Formulators (who follow the law) are limited to the colors listed in the FDA approved colorants. The safety or origin the ingredient does not matter. If it's not on the list, it's illegal to use as a colorant. 

    Thank you Dr. Perry for the clarification.

    I guess it has something to do with the stability and subsequent changes of natural colorants in the formulas. As far as I'm concerned, beetroot powder and all other food/fruit/vegetable powders do not work in color cosmetics as they are. They either don't work at all (they color the product but not the skin) or they stain the skin irreversibly (like turmeric or henna).


  • Bill_TogeBill_Toge Member, Professional Chemist
    legality aside, the fundamental problem is that water-soluble dyes are the wrong type of colourant for colour cosmetics; what you need is a pigment
    UK based formulation chemist. Strongest subjects: hair styling, hair bleaches, hair dyes (oxidative and non-oxidative) I know some stuff about: EU regulations, emulsions (O/W and W/O), toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoos, other toiletries
  • Bill_Toge said:
    legality aside, the fundamental problem is that water-soluble dyes are the wrong type of colourant for colour cosmetics; what you need is a pigment
    Thank you so much.
    What if I use beetroot powder, not its water extract?
  • You could use a w/o emulsifier like Span 20/60/80 but it's better to stick to the approved ones as @Perry just said.
  • Gunther said:
    You could use a w/o emulsifier like Span 20/60/80 but it's better to stick to the approved ones as @Perry just said.
    It's all about curiosity. I will stick to the safe side.
    Thank you and happy new year to you.
  • You can buy oil soluble beetroot!
    Dr. Catherine Pratt
    (B.Sc with HONS I , Ph.D Analytical/Organic Chem and Microbiology), Cosmetic Chemistry IPCS)
  • Perry said:
    @mehrzadkia - very good question. The unsatisfying answer is because that's what the regulations are. 

    The FDA even specifically says "Approval of a color additive for one intended use does not mean approval for other uses."  Therefore, even if a colorant is approved for food, that does not mean it is approved for cosmetics.

    The cosmetic industry in the US is not highly regulated except in a couple areas. Colorants is one of those areas. Formulators (who follow the law) are limited to the colors listed in the FDA approved colorants. The safety or origin the ingredient does not matter. If it's not on the list, it's illegal to use as a colorant. 

    Thank you Dr. Perry for the clarification.

    I guess it has something to do with the stability and subsequent changes of natural colorants in the formulas. As far as I'm concerned, beetroot powder and all other food/fruit/vegetable powders do not work in color cosmetics as they are. They either don't work at all (they color the product but not the skin) or they stain the skin irreversibly (like turmeric or henna).


    Natural colours are really unstable. Most change colour with pH and have been used as pH indicator solutions, those that don't tend to have high light instability anyway.

    In one formulation (this was naturally coloured fish oil softgels) the turmeric produced a beautiful shade of yellow - then bleached in barely 48 hours to white (the base colour of the softgel is titanium dioxide).
    Anthocyanin colours are often used as pH indicators too. Hibiscus for example is yellow at neutral pH, green in alkalis and only red in acidic solutions. 
    Blue pea is blue in neutral solutions but turns pink in acidic solutions.

    Beet powder is a little more stable compared with others, but it does go more pink in an acid and redder in alkali.



  • Beet powder inevitably turns poo brown....
    Dr. Catherine Pratt
    (B.Sc with HONS I , Ph.D Analytical/Organic Chem and Microbiology), Cosmetic Chemistry IPCS)
  • Beet powder inevitably turns poo brown....
    Delicately stated ;)
  • It is what it is.....
    Dr. Catherine Pratt
    (B.Sc with HONS I , Ph.D Analytical/Organic Chem and Microbiology), Cosmetic Chemistry IPCS)
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